Rising motorcycle toll calls for tougher licensing

New motorcycle riders have double the risk of crashing

New motorcycle riders have double the risk of crashing
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Monday, 31 May 2010

Inexperience and inadequate training before being issued a licence are among key issues in the increasing number of serious and fatal motorcycle road accidents, according to a University of Adelaide road safety researcher.

Dr Matthew Baldock, Research Fellow with the University's Centre for Automotive Safety Research, says motorcyclists have a much higher risk of a serious accident than any other mode of vehicle. And those most at risk of being in an accident are new riders.

"Motorcycles represent only 4.5% of registered vehicles and travel only 0.9% of the total distance travelled - but they are involved in 15% of road deaths," Dr Baldock says. "The crash risk for new riders is around double that for more experienced riders."

And the situation is worsening.

"There are increasing numbers of people riding motorcycles, particularly scooters and older riders - people in their 40s - taking it up," says Dr Baldock. "There are a lot more people riding motorcycles and an increasing proportion of motorcycle riders in the road toll."

Dr Baldock will discuss the challenge of motorcycle road safety at a free public seminar at the Art Gallery of South Australia on Wednesday 2 June at 4pm.

Dr Baldock says motorcycle riders are at greater injury risk because they are less protected than in other vehicles. But motorcycle accidents could be reduced through changes to licensing regulations including increasing the minimum age, increasing the time new riders have to spend on provisional and learner licences, increased mandatory training and no reduction in the motorcycle licensing period associated with having a car driver's licence.

"When you are trying to get a motorcycle licence you do a short course and then you are out on the road by yourself as a learner. This is so different to gaining a licence to drive a car," Dr Baldock says. "And with scooters, you don't even need a specific licence, just a car licence."

WHAT: CASR public lecture: 'Motorcycling Issues in Road Safety' presented by Dr Matthew Baldock
WHERE: Art Gallery of South Australia Auditorium, North Terrace
WHEN: 4pm-5.30pm, Wednesday 2 June
COST: Free. Please book by email: leonie.witter@adelaide.edu.au or phone: (08) 8303 4114


Contact Details

Dr Matthew Baldock
Email: matthewb@casr.adelaide.edu.au
Research Fellow
Centre for Automotive Safety Research
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5887
Mobile: 0427 792 592

Media Team
Email: media@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814